This article discusses the main things to consider before you buy a baby changing table.
A baby will go through approximately 6,000 diapers. That’s at least several changes a day for a couple of years.
Let’s face it, changing a diaper is not the most pleasant experience. So it makes sense to make the task as efficient as you can. And, of course, as safe as possible. This is where a diaper changing table can help, but which one should you buy?.
Baby changing tables typically come in one of three different finishes, these being metal, plastic, and wood. Some have two or three tiers or drawers. Another option is a table that has a baby bath beneath it. Then there’s the portable changing table. This folds for easy transportation, and it often comprises a fabric body that is set into a metal frame.
Keep reading to find out how to buy a baby changing table to suit your needs.
Tips on How to Buy a Baby Changing Table
When choosing a baby changing table, safety is paramount, so buy a table that is robust and stable. It should have raised sides or some other type of barrier to prevent the baby from rolling off the table.
The raised section should be a minimum of 3″ high, and it should go around all four sides. (Keep in mind that with a baby changing table pad placed on the surface of the table, the side barriers won’t provide as much protection.)
The table should have a harness that allows you to secure your baby onto it. This will provide another degree of protection. However, no matter how secure the harness, you should not leave your baby unattended on the table, even momentarily.
Next, make sure that the table doesn’t have sharp or rough edges, or gaps that a babies fingers, toes, or limbs could catch in.
Find out if the model you are thinking of getting comes with a baby changing table pad. If it doesn’t, you will need to buy one. Better still, buy two or three so that you always have a clean one.
A baby changing pad will provide comfort and cushioning, and prevent your baby’s buttocks from getting cold if the table your buy is metal or plastic. Before you buy a baby changing pad, check its dimensions to make sure that it is the right size for your table. A waterproof pad will be the most sanitary, and it will help to keep the surface of the table dry.
The pad’s cover should have straps that enable it to be attached to the table’s surface. It should also be slip-resistant. Look for one that you can wipe clean, and make sure that it has a removable machine-washable cover.
Buy a baby changing table that suits your height. Most are between 36″ and 43″ above floor height. If you choose one that is too low or too high, you will have to bend down or reach up to change your baby’s diaper. This will be uncomfortable and hard on your back, hips, and knees, and it will tire your arms and shoulders as your baby gets heavier. Remember, we’re talking thousands of diaper changes!
If more than one person will be changing the baby, or if you’re not sure which height to get, opt for a height-adjustable diaper changing table.
Decide if you want a diaper changing table with castor wheels. This will make it a lot easier to move around. However, if the wheels don’t have a braking system, they will pose a safety threat.
Another thing to think about is if you want a changing table with storage. The more storage you have, the more convenient it will be. And having diapers, wipes, lotion, hand sanitizer, a spare onesie, etc., close at hand will mean you will be able to keep your baby at arm’s length and not have to take your eyes off them for a second to go across the room and fetch the things you need at change time.
Make sure that the drawers and shelves are large enough to hold the essentials. If you otherwise don’t have a lot of storage, choose a table with more than one shelf, and side trays. Also, make sure that your baby can’t reach the storage area and pick up and potentially swallow something that could harm them.
Locate the table away from potential hazards such as windows, blind or curtain cords, heaters, floor fans, etc. It’s also vital that it not be near a power cord. The last thing you want to do is lift your baby out of their crib during the night to change their diaper when you are half asleep, and trip over a cord.
Also, be sure to place it in an area of the nursery that won’t put it in the way off anything. If you constantly have to navigate around the table, or if it is in a position that prevents you from freely opening a closet or a door, it will be as much of a hindrance as it is a help.
Something else to consider before you buy a baby changing table is whether you want one that folds. This may be the best option if your house is small or if you want to take the table with you when traveling or visiting family and friends.
7 Quick Baby Change Table Safety Tips
The following baby change table safety tips will enable you to keep your little one safe during diaper changes.
- Don’t place your baby changing table near hanging cords, heaters, floor fans, or power cords.
- If the table is foldable, be sure to lock the frame securely in place before placing your baby on it.
- Keep diaper changing essentials close by, but out of your baby’s reach.
- Don’t put any small items on the diaper changing table that your baby could swallow and choke on.
- Use the table or pad’s safety harness every time.
- Even with the safety strap secured, always keep at least one hand on your baby when changing them. If you have to leave them for even a few seconds to walk across the room, pick them up and take them with you.
- For the safety of all, caution your baby’s older siblings against climbing onto the changing table. Along with potentially injuring the baby or upending the table, they could fall off. All tables pose a risk, with those that have pull-out drawers being the most dangerous in such a situation.
How to Buy a Baby Change Table Summary
While not a necessity, if space and your budget allow, a baby change table can make changing your baby easier. It will also provide extra storage space and allow you to have everything you will need at hand when your baby needs a diaper change.